On May 29th and 30th a group of “Chief Customer Officers” or “CCOs” met at an open forum hosted by Budd in London. This was the follow up event to the March breakfast meeting hosted by Aviva. The feedback was a plea for more open facilitated debate on the issues facing customer operations, customer services and customer experience professionals as they evangelise the cause of stopping dumb things happening to their customers and people. We added up that the meeting would affect some 30m customers and 90,000 staff in the UK and beyond.
Dinner the night before was a competitive affair with 3 teams challenged to make the most imaginative thing they could with a wad of A4 paper and a roll of sellotape (and without someone knocking over your hand made Jenga set with the many throw balls on hand !). Although the rugby pitch and posts was hot favourite, the waiter, no doubt bribed, chose an excellent War of the Worlds monster…. Judge for yourselves!
Having got acquainted over party games and adequate lubrication, the morning was started with a slightly off beam introductory talk. We were able to sneak a spoof CCO into the group over coffee who then proceeded to explain some of the more extreme things we could be doing in contact centres and sales operations – a few YouTube clips will be available shortly so lets us know if you want some fun ammo to use in your presentations. The customer as terrorist, the CSR policy to use old people’s homes as contact centres for the British “moan in” and axe murderers manning the complaints line!!
On a more serious note David Harding CEO of William Hill very kindly offered to give the CEO’s perspective on the customer. Once we had convinced people he was real, the talk was so insightful for people continually selling the customer and people story to their CEO. How the CEO’s time is spent, what obligations they face and how much control or not they have to make things happen.
The bulk of the day was open conversation between CCOs on what issues they face, how they are tackling them and sharing wins. All for the benefit of those 90,000 staff and 30 million customers. It was great to share such passion and to recharge batteries under Chatham House rules and we look forward to the next event in November.
William Hill vs FTSE 100